Barbados Pride held the distinct advantage against Guyana Jaguars at the end of the first day in their top of the table clash in the Digicel Regional Four Day Competition at Kensington Oval Thursday.
The home team finished the day on 293 for the loss of two wickets. They were guided to their strong position by centuries from opening batsman Kraigg Brathwaite and Shai Hope who scored their tenth and fifth centuries for Barbados respectively.
Brathwaite, playing his 50th match for Barbados scored 143 runs in 290 minutes from 236 balls with 17 fours. Hope was 118 not out at the close. The stylish right-handed batsman has so far batted for 295 minutes, faced 257 balls and struck 15 fours and two sixes.
Brathwaite and Hope established a new record second-wicket partnership of 205 against Guyana, compiled in 224 minutes from 64.3 overs. They broke the previous record of 196 set by Jason Haynes and Ryan Hinds at Windward Cricket Ground in 2009.
Brathwaite was dismissed with the score on 259, when he was lbw to fast bowler Romario Shepherd deep into the afternoon session. Brathwaite played back to a delivery that cut back and kept a trifle low and struck him in front of middle and off stumps.
Earlier Brathwaite stamped his authority on the Jaguar bowlers from the start of his innings with several drives in the mid-off and long-off areas. He looked equally comfortable on front and back foot and against both pace and spin.
The dogged opener’s fifty came up in 134 minutes with five fours. Brathwaite reached his century in 231 minutes from 177 balls with 11 fours. He was however dropped on 105 by Clinton Pestano at mid-on off the bowling of leg-spinner Devendra Bishoo.
Barbados Pride won the toss and elected to bat. Brathwaite shared an opening partnership of 45 with Anthony Alleyne who laboured at the crease for 65 minutes for his eight runs. The left-handed opener was caught by wicketkeeper Anthony Bramble off the bowling of left-hand medium pacer Raymon Reifer, as he flashed at a short ball outside the off stump. This wicket fell in the 14th over of the innings.
After Alleyne’s dismissal, Brathwaite and Hope piled on the runs. Pride’s 100 came up in 149 minutes from 37 overs. They reached 200 in 218 minutes from 381 balls.
The Jaguars’ opening bowlers looked lacklustre. Debutant Pestano who shared the new ball with Reifer struggled to find his line and length. Romario Shepherd, the third seamer in the team, bowled too short and provided plenty of scoring opportunities for the batsmen.
West Indies leg-spinner Devendra Bishoo was largely ineffective on a good batting pitch that offered few, if any terrors, and left-arm spinner Gudakesh Motie contained the batsman but seemed unlikely to take a wicket.
Barbados Pride will resume Friday hoping to bat the Jaguars out of the game by posting a massive first innings total.